STYLEetc. expands our food section (and waistlines) reviewing the newest additions to the Pizza Express menu in the form of main, starter and dessert specials.
When Pizza Express announced new dishes to their already popular menu, this Editor was a little excited to say the least, especially so when we were asked to come and give opinion on the latest dishes at our local Prestwich branch.
Having visited the branch previously (albeit over a year ago) we had an idea of what would be in store but were pleasantly surprised to see the restaurant had undergone an interior renovation, swapping out the primarily monochrome tiles and furniture for a warmer, vintage pub like feel with booths and copper accessories.
The restaurant was bustling as we arrived (fortunately we booked in advance) which was good to see locals making use of Prestwich’s plentiful supply of food and drink establishments rather than hopping on a tram to town (the city centre for those not local).
As the purpose of our trip was to try the new specials, we thought it a good shout to compare the old versus fresh additions, with each course opting for a dish of each persuasion.
To start our Food-off was the classic Garlic Bread with Mozzarella pit against the all-new Pennette Formaggi (Mac and Cheese for the basics). The Pennette Formaggi was piping hot upon arrival and took a little cooling down but was warmly received in terms of taste and enjoyment. Likewise, as per the Mozzarella Garlic Bread did not disappoint, presented as a golden brown baked bread topped with delectable cheese and just a sprinkle of garnish.
Verdict: Whilst the Garlic Bread is always a firm favourite, we are mightily tempted to stray toward the Pennette Formaggi next time.
For the mains we simply had to sample the latest creation, designed for the Winter season, the Etna Romana Pizza. Topped with Nduja Sausage, Roquito Pepper, Mozzarella, Tomato and Gran Milano Cheese, the Etna packs a spicy punch, ideal for those who love a bit of heat in their Pizza. Counter balanced with delicious Cheese and an always baked to perfection base, this was another winner but only for those who prefer a more fragrant flavour.
On the contrary, our failsafe selection to compare was a traditional Romana Margherita with extra Chicken for good measure. The Chicken was sprinkled in chunks across the top as to offer an ample amount but never too much, giving a nice additional flavour to the usual Cheese and Tomato base of the Margherita. Greatly received, this Pizza will always go down a treat for those who love a little meat on top.
Verdict: For the adventurous the Etna Romana is a clear temptation but if it’s not your bag stick to your favourites.
For a tipple during the meal we decided to try both of the new drinks available; the Sloe Prosecco and Flat White Martini. The Sloe Prosecco functions as an aperitif, best enjoyed at the beginning of your dining experience, a fruity little number with Raspberry included to offer a sweet adaption to Prosecco’s usual flavour.
More geared toward dessert, the Flat White Martini is somewhere between an Iced Coffee and a Milkshake and received no complaints upon trial. Including Baileys, Vodka and Espresso, this is one Martini which can be assured to wake you up in a post-meal slump.
Verdict: Whilst both were enjoyed pleasantly, the Flat White Martini takes lead on this occasion for it’s excellent blend of coffee, sweetness and alcohol.
It would be rude not to save room for something sweet to finish, so naturally we didn’t turn down dessert. Newcomer on the menu Chocolate Fondant was put to the test against the English Breakfast Tea with Miniature Brownie. Gorgeously rich the Fondant melted in the middle, giving way to the soft and creamy Ice Cream on top. Adequately completed, the dish was sprinkled with icing sugar for pretty finishing.
For our typical dessert, English Breakfast Tea was ordered, completed with a side Miniature Brownie. The tea did the job as any Brit would approve of, but the Brownie was the main affair. Topped with slice of Strawberry, the contrast of fruit and chocolate made for an excellent combination, making this a perfectly tasty treat for those not wanting to overindulge.
Verdict: Down to your portion preferences but we’re going with the Fondant on this one.
To see the whole menu and new Specials visit Pizza Express.